Off-duty officer’s shooting of Black man sparks protests in North Carolina

Truck’s onboard computer did not record any impacts the day of the shooting

Graig Graziosi
Tuesday 11 January 2022 10:07
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'Say his name, Jason Walker': Protesters gather after black man shot dead by police officer
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A North Carolina sheriff's deputy claimed he had to shoot Jason Walker, a Black man, after he allegedly jumped onto the deputy's vehicle. However, witnesses to the incident are telling a different story.

According to witnesses, Mr Walker, 37, was trying to cross the road Saturday when a Cumberland County deputy driving in a red truck allegedly shot and killed him.

A trauma nurse, Elizabeth Ricks, is among the witnesses. She tried to help save Mr Walker's life in the immediate aftermath of the incident.

On Sunday she attended a protest outside the Fayetteville police station organised by individuals who doubt the Cumberland County deputy's story claiming that Mr Walker basically threw himself into traffic.

“I did not see anyone in distress. The man was just walking home,” Ms Ricks said, according to The News & Observer.

Ms Ricks also said that the deputy who allegedly shot Mr Walker did nothing to help save the man, but instead was busy “calling his boss” at the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office. The nurse said the deputy's wife was sitting around and playing with her hair while the other deputies who had arrived on scene watched her try to save Mr Walker.

“I saw everything. I heard everything. I saw a brother ... somebody who needed me. No one else was going to help him. He wasn't acting crazy. He didn't jump into traffic,” she said. “How would Jason jump onto a big truck? Then you fear for your life and you're in a big truck? You say you're trying to protect your family and your daughter, who's trying to protect people like us? I will forever fight for Jason.”

According to family members, Mr Walker was shot twice in the back. Police confirmed there were no bullet holes in the vehicle's windshield, which means the deputy shot Mr Walker after exiting the truck.

According to information from the county, the deputy who allegedly hit, shot and killed Mr Walker has not yet been arrested. It is not clear if they are in custody.

Fayetteville's police chief, Gina Hawkins, has called for anyone with information on the incident to come forward and report what they saw.

“We would like to hear from anyone who saw what happened,” she said.

In the meantime, she confirmed that investigators have examined data collected by the truck's onboard computer, which did not record any impact with anyone or anything. Ms Hawkins said that the only person at the accident scene who claims that they saw what happened said that Mr Walker was actually not hit by the truck.

Ms Hawkins said that one of the truck's windshield wipers had been torn off and that the metal portion had been used to break the truck's windshield in several places.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is currently investigating the shooting.

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